May The Fourth Be With You: A Most Violent Cover-Up In ‘Star Wars: Captain Phasma’

Today is May the Fourth. A day to celebrate all things from a galaxy far, far away. To celebrate, we wanted to throwback to a celebration from a few years ago, when we sat down and looked at comics stories from across the Star Wars universe.

The sequel trilogy is one of the most hotly debated elements of Star Wars today, for many reasons, some valid, others not so much. One thing that almost everyone can agree on though was that First Order stormtrooper commander had one of the coolest visuals while being one of the most underused characters. Thankfully the Expanded Universe helped with that, giving Phasma both an origin novel and a comics miniseries that was worthy of her frightening visage.

Cover by Paul Renaud

One of the best things about Star Wars has always been the expanded universe delivering on the promise of characters that the films couldn’t deliver. Whether it was Boba Fett in comics and novels, Darth Maul in the animated series, or Captain Phasma. Phasma was introduced as essentially this generation’s Boba Fett, and on-screen that delivered (editor’s note: This piece was originally written pre-Book of Boba Fett). She was ruthless, but beyond that she was nothing more than an intimidating figure with a cool design.

However, in the tie-in media, we got a full picture of this mysterious woman (even if we never saw her face). One of those tie-ins was this mini series by Kelly Thompson, Marco Checchetto, Andres Mossa, and Clayton Cowles. Bridging the gap between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi this is the story of the most brutal warriors in the First Order.

As Phasma attempts to erase her failure protecting the secrets of Starkiller Base, she’s discovered. The young officer makes his escape, but Phasma recruits a young pilot to help her pursue him, lying about her purpose. It’s a chase that takes the duo on a thrilling hunt, but also reveals the true depths of Phasma’s villainy.

Thompson frankly didn’t seem to have much to go on here- again Phasma was nothing but potential. Literally, nothing. However, she crafts a fascinating narrative around Phasma. Even better, she doesn’t attempt to make her redeemable or likable. This is a villain story about a monstrous warrior who is determined to murder a man just to cover up her own actions and preserve her reputation. Yet, she’s also able to make us cheer for her while she does it. It’s a tough balancing act that’s executed well while delivering a satisfying and engaging story.

Just like their work on Obi-Wan and Anakin this art team is a great choice to tell this story. The series is basically a four issue long chase scene, and Checchetto drives that action forward. He never lets up the pace, surrounding Phasma perpetually with blaster fire, explosions and driving elements, which Mossa then breathes full of life. The camera is continually moving around Phasma, her companion and her target. This story is a wall-to-wall chase scene that never lets up.

This is a thrilling story that’s worth reading on its own, but it adds so much to this fan favorite character. It’s frankly too bad that she met her end in The Last Jedi, because I would have loved to have seen this version of the character on-screen. It also shows the sort of potential the character could have in a prequel spin-off, not unlike the long-running Poe Dameron series that chronicled that hero’s pre-The Force Awakens adventures.

You can find Star Wars: Captain Phasma digitally and physically wherever comics are sold.

Today is May the Fourth. A day to celebrate all things from a galaxy far, far away. To celebrate, weCOMICONRead More

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